How to overcome negative self-talk and improve your confidence
We talk...a lot. But have you ever considered that the person you talk to the most is yourself?
Your thoughts have a huge impact on your mental well-being so it’s important that your thoughts are working for you, not against you.
It can be so easy to get into a habit of negative self-talk.
Negative self-talk is when you think things in a negative way that is not only unhelpful but can also be harmful to your well-being by forming negative thought patterns. These negative thoughts can lead to lowered self-confidence and self-esteem over time. It often comes in the form of self-criticism.
For example, negative self-talk are things like:
- “I’m not good enough.”
- “I’ll never be able to do that.”
The way we form our thoughts has a huge impact on how we function every day.
If everyone around you was putting you down how would you feel? Now what if everyone around you was lifting you up? Those same feelings apply to how you talk to yourself too.
If you’re telling yourself you aren’t capable of something - you probably won’t feel too great and in turn will be less likely to believe that you can do it. This doesn’t mean you’re any less able, but it frames your mind in a way that allows you to think that you might be.
To avoid negative self-talk try to think of where your strengths lie and how you can work toward what it is that you want to do.
If you tell yourself that you’re still learning and you’ll be able to get it done, you’ll feel more confident in your ability to do so instead of thinking you just can’t do it.
This goes for all of the things we think about. The brain tends to form patterns of thinking and if you aren’t saying and thinking positive things, that will affect how you continue to think in the future.
So intead of: “I can’t do this.”
Think: “I can learn this.”
Instead of: “They’re way better at me than this.”
Think: “I have my own skills too.”
So much of how we feel is based on how we think, so it’s important to remember to be mindful of how your thoughts form.
Try to pay attention to how you think - you might start to notice some patterns. When you notice you’re starting to think in negative ways, try to find a way to reframe the thought in a more helpful way.
For example, if you have a big project on the go and don’t think you have enough time to finish everything you need to - instead of thinking “There’s no way I’ll get this done in time,” try to be more positive and think “I can start on this one thing and that’ll help me get things finished on time.” Focus on what you can do, not what you can’t. This is a form of self-compassion because you are allowing yourself to focus on
Even we have a hard time remembering to do this sometimes. When you aren’t used to paying attention to how you think, it can be challenging. You can still think about the same things, its just the way you think about it might be different.
Creating more positive self-talk and self-compassion (see our previous blog post to learn more about how to use self-compassion) will help you become more resilient and build your self-esteem because you are encouraging your own confidence through more positive language.
Think of how you would talk to someone you love. Would you tell them they can’t do something? You’re probably more likely to help them focus on what they can do and encourage them. Now try to do that with yourself. You might be amazed at what a simple change in perspective can do.